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Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Of course there have been many mixed signals, but I can't help but feel Benson's ultimate plans are to move the team. However, right now, I don't see the NFL giving there approval. If I were Tom, I would stay ...

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Old 09-13-2005, 12:04 AM   #1
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Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

Of course there have been many mixed signals, but I can't help but feel Benson's ultimate plans are to move the team. However, right now, I don't see the NFL giving there approval. If I were Tom, I would stay put. He'll get his new stadium in a few years. If he leaves, he is heartless and plain stupid...

A league source tells us that NFL Commmissioner Paul Tagliabue had multiple heated exchanges with Saints owner Tom Benson this week regarding reports that Benson planned to use the Hurricane Katrina tragedy as a catalyst for moving the Saints out of New Orleans.



Per the source, Tagliabue accused Benson of being "heartless," and Tagliabue told Benson that the league would not allow itself or the Saints to appear opportunistic in the face of the disastrous circumstances in and around the Crescent City.



Several other owners also were involved, we're told, to support Tagliabue's position that Benson should abandon any short-term intentions to lay the foundation for a permanent move based on Katrina and its aftermath.



Word of Benson's plans first surfaced on Saturday, September 3, when The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that team exec Arnold Fielkow had told Louisiana state senator Mike Michot that a permanent move was a possibility. Two days later, New Orleans sports radio host John Marie forwarded to us an e-mail from Fletcher Mackel of WDSU-TV regarding further statements from Fielkow regarding Benson's intention to provoke a fight with the Louisiana legislature by refusing to provide refunds to season-ticket holders.



The next day, Fielkow issued a statement that implicitly conceded the accuracy of the comments attributed to him by Michot and Mackel.



Benson later issued a statement of his own expressing a clear commitment to New Orleans -- and to declare that refunds could be requested -- presumably after Tagliabue twisted some arms and/or booted some boo-tay.



And if it is Tagliabue's intention to slap a muzzle on Benson, the Commish also should pay a visit to Benson's buddy, former Vikings owner Red McCombs. Big Red is trying his damnedest to lure the Saints to San Antonio, ostensibly for 2005 only. But our guess is that Red's unseemly enthusiasm for capitalizing in the short term on the New Orleans situation will eventually give way to a more calculating plan to keep the Saints in San Antone.



And with McCombs whispering in Benson's ear, no amount of yelling from Tabliague will make a lasting difference.
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:54 AM   #2
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RE: Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

Sorry but that's not what we here. This is some great dramatic writing but facts are the Saints have massive efforts toward the Katrina recovery in place, including players and the organization raising money. Saints camp on Airline Highway will be repaired etc with state and federal money, by the way it's the best NFL facility in the league, built by the State of Louisiana, and the Saints are already first in line for federal dollars and tax incentives for businesses to stay in or move into the State. Also, facts are San Antonio is not a large market and has poor facilities for an NFL franchise. The Saints are practicing at a high school field, the Alamo Dome is not an NFL caliber stadium, and there's no where for the team to work out. Nice writing from pro football weekly, but no one's buying it.

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Old 09-13-2005, 05:52 AM   #3
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and Tagliabue told Benson that the league would not allow itself or the Saints to appear opportunistic
Though I'd love it, I'm one that's not as convinced as many that the Saints will remain in New Orleans. Anything is possible when "business is business".


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Old 09-13-2005, 09:37 AM   #4
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Yeah not buying any of the crap in the opening post of this thread... I think its "Diddley Poo".
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:53 AM   #5
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Re: RE: Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

Originally Posted by Halo
Sorry but that's not what we here. This is some great dramatic writing but facts are the Saints have massive efforts toward the Katrina recovery in place, including players and the organization raising money. Saints camp on Airline Highway will be repaired etc with state and federal money, by the way it's the best NFL facility in the league, built by the State of Louisiana, and the Saints are already first in line for federal dollars and tax incentives for businesses to stay in or move into the State. Also, facts are San Antonio is not a large market and has poor facilities for an NFL franchise. The Saints are practicing at a high school field, the Alamo Dome is not an NFL caliber stadium, and there's no where for the team to work out. Nice writing from pro football weekly, but no one's buying it.
Not advocating the move, but first Halo, San Antonio is a larger market than New Orleans, and the San Antonio-Austin I-35 corridor is the second largest market without a team, Los Angeles is first. This info was provided in a research article done when Benson announced he wanted to move the team a few months back. i posted it here, but can not tell you where to find it right now. Second, as of right now, there are no facilities in New Orleans for the Saints to play, and no people to go watch them play. San Antonio can build facilities as well. It will take longer for them to rebuild New Orleans than it would take for San Antonio to build facilities, especially if they have to tear down the dome and rebuild it. Then there is the matter of getting people to come back to the area. My mom has said she is never going back, and I have heard that same sentiment from numerous people. The fact is, San Antonio was not prepared for the Saints to arrive, and is doing what they can with them here. The incentives package they have in place to lure NFL teams, again from when Benson made his statements about moving earlier in the year, included facilities and either an updated Alamodome or a new stadium. Benson was not gonna leave without either. So the fact is, should the choose to move here, San Antonio is more than capable of handling an NFL franchise and providing the necessary facilities. The reality is, I like noone else who is a Saints fan wants this to happen. But to dismiss San Antonio as not able to support a team is pure folly. And that's not even getting into the economic differences between San Antonio and New Orleans, or TX and LA in general.
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:42 AM   #6
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RE: Re: RE: Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

I really dont wanna see a move happen, i just dont no what I would do.......
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Rumor Mill from Pro Football Weekly

Originally Posted by AllSaints
I really dont wanna see a move happen, i just dont no what I would do.......
Noone wants to see a move happen, except Tom Benson and Red McCombs. If Tagliabue is the one who smacked this down, good for him. Someone needs to tell benson to stop being a greedy bastard and start helping do what's right to restore the city, with its football team.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:40 PM   #8
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Los Angeles is first.
Los Angeles is not the first market the NFL wants to go to. Los Angeles has had several franchises over the years and has never been able to sell tickets or create any revenue that interested the NFL. The city wants the league to build a stadium outside the city and then the State government takes all revenue from consessions and charge a high property tax and rental fees to any NFL club.

I think where you are wrong is San Antonio is first to get a football club, but that team is not the Saints. The Saints practically invented the "We're going to Move" negotiation tactic, which made Tom Benson buy them to start with.

no people to go watch them play
Seriously doubt that. With Baton Rouge now the largest city in Louisiana with a seam busting population of about 800,000, mostly New Orleans area overrunning the city and the locals outnumbered in population, look for Tiger Stadium to be filled. It was said last night on NFL countdown that lead in as "Are the Saints moving to LA?" that Tom Benson and Paul Tagliabue are looking for Tiger Stadium as a long term option for the forseeable future. But...

there are no facilities in New Orleans for the Saints to play
Announced last night by the Mayor was the immediate plan for the city. By October 2nd people will start to migrate back to the Uptown districts and Downtown New Orleans will be open for business by October 15th if not before. They also announced that the Superdome is scheduled to be ready for the Sugar Bowl in January, and by next spring Mardi Gras is on. Many parts of the city were untouched as my old house on Carrolton and Cambronne as well as all of Uptown and the French Quarter took no damage at all.

Saints facility took some damage, but they belong to the State which will be rebuilt by the federal government.


Saintswhodi, where the press in San Antonio have gone wrong is, you guys need to fill the stadium to show support for NFL football so you can get a franchise there, but with the Saints being a profitable franchise (not the most profitable, but ranked 20th among 32 teams), with sold out consecutive years in the Dome (4) and collecting all revenue from consessions and receiving portions of all profits from travel and tourism industry, it's economically hard to see them leave.

This next year there will be a dip in New Orleans in travel and tourism, but with New Orleans is now one of the most popular places in the world because of Katrina. The government is working with the military and federal agencies to get the city back in operation and the Mayor of New Orleans is not a goof ball at all.

The airport, reported to be closed until December, opened today, did everyone know that. And so too did the port of New Orleans and the ports on the Gulf Coast.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/0....89b4c947.html

Most of you guys don't live here and you don't see what the local officials are reporting on a daily and hourly basis.

The city is drying out and business are already heading back in. Same with Jefferson Parish. Yes many area of the city will be bull dozed, they are also the poorest areas of the city which were low laying.

Whodi, I think San Antonio will get a franchise of it's own within the next 3 to 5 years. The Saints and New Orleans markets are too profitable for the NFL to move out of. Chris Mortensen from ESPN, the expert on how many times the Saints have moved to LA in the past 6 years, said it himself as a quote right out of Tagliabue's mouth.

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Old 09-13-2005, 02:58 PM   #9
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First again, let me set this straight, I am not trying to get the Saints to move or to come to San Antonio, I was just disputing a misconception about the size of San Antonio and its ability to support a team.
Los Angeles is not the first market the NFL wants to go to
When I said LA was first, you must have mis-read it. I said they are first as far as areas of the country without a football team populus wise. San Antonio/Austin is second. I never said they would be first to get a team. I think you misread that.

Second, we ALL know how apathetic people in Baton Rouge have been towards the Saints. Hell, we can see it in the budgets they propose and how most of them aren't even concerned about the negotiations. Baton Rouge loves LSU, and that's it. I am sure there are Saints fans there, loads more now, but Baton Rouge and Northern Louisiana doesnot have much care for the Saints. Also, even with all the dispalced people there, who do you propose they buy tickets to a football game? They have nothing. Sure the tickets can be donated so it looks like a sellout, but that won't create revenue. San Antonio will sell out. The city has guaranteed it as part of their proposal. That will be more attractive to Benson than anything else.

Next even if Jefferson parish is up and running, what does thathave to do with Orleans Parish? For most, it's not just a matter of getting the water out, it's also a matter of the hazardous substance that will eb left behind thathas to be cleaned. It's also a matter of not havign residence. Some of the richest sections of town flooded, including lakefront, Gentilly, and New Orleans East(eastover). Even Jazz land flooded. That's where a good bit of the money is. Those people won;t be coming back anytime soon.

Next, noone knows the extent of the damage of the dome. The estimate is not supposed to be complete until Thursday. So noone knows if it has to be scrapped, repaired, or the cost. To say it will be ready by January is WAY premature. Also the airport only opened to COMMERCIAL traffic. No passenger flights yet. That's not really open, but it's on its way.

Lastly, I think San Antone will get a franchise, but I do not want it to be the saints either. I was basically just pointing to your statement:
Also, facts are San Antonio is not a large market and has poor facilities for an NFL franchise.
and disagreeing with that. It wasn't an argument for the saints to move here, or why they should. Just that they could.
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:18 PM   #10
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Not sure where Los Angeles stands in the pecking order for franchises. But I do know the NFL is interested in the market. So much they are considering a $500-600 million dollar loan. A June 2005 report by The Los Angeles Business Journal said "The NFL has all but conceded that any arena in the L.A. market would have to be paid for without public funds". Earlier this summer the NFL and the Los Angeles brass were deciding and studying what that site will be - the Rose Bowl, Coliseum and Anaheim.

This is info from early summer and very well may have changed. It's my suspicion, and only a suspicion, that Los Angeles may be years away.

I dunno.

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